Sri Lanka's public investment in education is the lowest out of middle income countries across the world, the latest World Bank publication launched in Sri Lanka showed on Tuesday.
The report titled "Transforming School Education in Sri Lanka: From Cut Stones to Polished Jewels," which presents an in-depth analysis of the sector, points out that the government's contribution is well below the share of investment for middle income countries as a whole.
It points out that the education expenditure as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is only 1.9 percent and as a portion of the government budget is only 7.3 percent.
Despite the island nation's three decade war ending two years ago defence expenditure takes up one of the largest shares of government spending.
This is the smallest share of public investment in education amongst a cluster of countries that share common features with Sri Lanka. Public investment in education in Sri Lanka falls below the level of East Asian and Latin American countries.
Even South Asian countries such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal invest more in public education. In fact, advanced middle income countries normally invest about 4.6 percent of their national income on education, which is more than double what Sri Lanka expends.
The report calls on the government to expand its investments and provide better legal frameworks as illegal funds are now lowing into bridge demand for better education in Sri Lanka.